User Behaviour in Energy Efficient Homes
(funded by the Housing Corporation and the Energy Saving Trust)
This project aimed to evaluate how residents respond to energy efficient homes, whether these have been delivered through energy efficiency retrofit or through new build. Issues surrounding householders’ use of heating systems is anecdotal or in small studies; this project aimed to compare the way such measures were introduced and the role of energy advice, especially to tenants and leaseholders from their associations. Does this make a qualitative difference? Are there ways in which housing associations can be more effective in the energy services they give to customers? What does this imply for energy advice, and especially the introduction of new technology and less usual ways of supplying homes with warmth, light and power?
The project was divided into three phases:
- Phase 1 – feasibility study
This involved background research, planning, stakeholder engagement, budgeting and securing funding for the project (completed August 2003)
- Phase 2 – survey and evaluation of findings
This involved surveying 150 households during the winter of 2003-4, all of whose homes had all been part of energy efficiency refurbishment programmes. The aim of the survey was to establish residents’ responses to their energy efficiency measures, taking account of the age and other characteristics of the householders, the way the housing association introduced the ideas and so on. The findings of the survey were evaluated in a final report, which identifies best practice for housing associations in implementing measures and enabling tenants to use them more effectively (completed May 2004);
- Phase 3 – dissemination
This involved disseminating the finding of the project in order to spread best practice to housing managers and suggest the level of energy saving that might be claimed through government programmes that install energy efficient measures that is not achieved due to failure to operate systems to the expected criteria (completed July 2004).
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